Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Wednesday, 14th December, 2016 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms 2 & 3, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Kenna-Victoria Martin, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

59.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on 9 November 2016.

Minutes:

The Minutes of Cabinet, held on 9 November 2016, were approved as a correct record.

60.

Items of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

61.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

62.

Statements by the Leader

Minutes:

The Leader addressed Cabinet Members informing them he attended the Staff Awards on Thursday 8 December. He thanked Officers for the well organised and fantastic event which sponsored and supported Thurrock Council Staff.

 

Councillor Gledhill continued by reflecting on the fact that the Council had achieved IIP Gold again for the recognition of investment in staff. He commented that if Thurrock Staff were happy and motivated then residents would notice the improved outcomes.

 

He continued by notifying those present that Staff had been busy volunteering at Lakeside Shopping centre and at the Civic Offices to collect, wrap and deliver hundreds of presents to children in need across Thurrock.

 

Lastly the Leader welcomed Julie Rogers the new Head of Environment to the Council.

63.

Briefings on Policy, Budget and Other Issues

Minutes:

Councillor S Little informed Cabinet Members that an unaccompanied asylum seeker had been detained at the Thurrock Services. She continued by stating that the protocol had worked and the Child was transferred out of Thurrock within 5 days.

 

The Cabinet Member for Adult and Children Social Care explained that Thurrock had a high number of unaccompanied asylum seeker children and thanked the Head of Children’s Social Care for all his hard work.

64.

Mid year Corporate Plan Progress and Performance Report 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Stewart, Cabinet Member for Performance and Central Services, presented the report to Members and in doing so notified those present that the Corporate Plan 2016/17 outlined the focus areas for service delivery during this year.

 

She continued by stating it was important to note although the focus area for complaints which were upheld was under target, there had been an improvement of 4 per cent.

 

Members were informed that failing indicators were presented to Directors on a monthly basis. Councillor Stewart further informed Members that the first Resident Survey in 6 years had been completed and results would be available in January.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet:

 

1.    Note and comment upon the performance of the key corporate performance indicators in particular those areas which are IN FOCUS.

 

2.    Note and comment upon the progress in relation to the key corporate priority activities for 2016/17.

 

3.    Identify any areas which require additional consideration.

65.

Petitions submitted by Members of the Public

Minutes:

There were no petitions submitted.

66.

Questions from Non-Executive Members

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council advised that no questions had been submitted from Non-Executive Members.

67.

Matters Referred to the Cabinet for Consideration by an Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council informed Members that no matters had been referred to the Cabinet by an Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

68.

Air Quality and Health Strategy (Decision 01104390) pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Transport & Highways introduced the report and stated that in 2015, a decision was taken by Thurrock Council to develop an integrated Health and Air Quality Strategy through which to tackle the health problems associated with and exacerbated by air pollution within the borough.

 

He continued by stating the overall strategic aim of the Strategy was to improve air quality in the borough and to reduce the health impacts of air pollution.  Members were advised the strategy would be delivered through three main approaches: 

 

·         By implementing measures for managing air quality throughout the borough to prevent new Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) from arising;

·         By implementing measures contained within the action plans for existing AQMAs; and

·         By working with external bodies to reduce background pollution from inside and outside the borough.

 

Councillor B Little further advised that the strategy had been through the Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee and their comments had been included.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Education and Health mentioned that there was only so much the Council could do on their own. He further mentioned that the GP Scorecard was improving provision, along with the health hubs the process in place was robust.

 

Councillor Hebb commented that the report was responding to need and not just desire and welcomed working with different partnerships. He continued to enquire what the Cabinet Member for Transport & Highways was doing in relation to idle parking and traffic emissions in the borough.

 

Councillor B Little, Cabinet Member for Transport & Highways, explained that work had been untaken into looking at no idle parking zones and the use of yellow box junctions. 

 

He continued by commenting that landscaping would also be looked into and that he welcomed comments from his follow Members.

 

The Leader mentioned it was good to see that the Council was going the extra mile and not just ticking the boxes.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet approved the Air Quality & Health Strategy and the associated delivery approaches (Appendix 1)

 

Reason for Decision - as stated in the report

This decision is subject to call-in

 

69.

School Capital Programme 2017/18 and Lobby Team Update (Decision 01104391) pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Halden, Cabinet Member for Education and Health, presented the report to Members informing them the report sought approval for up to £7 million funding to implement the next schools capital programme. He continued by explaining the programme would include secondary school expansions and possible expansion of a further two primary schools in 2017.

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Health commented that the programme would give parents and children more choice of where they want to study. It was hoped it would assist in stopping children being sent across the borough for school.

 

Members were informed a Lobby Unit had been established to work with schools to lobby the Department for Education (DFE) to help deliver new free schools. Councillor Halden further informed Cabinet Members that Thurrock had national press coverage for its policy position of being pro-grammar schools. He continued that at least one hundred children attended grammar schools outside of the borough and that it was time to give the best choices possible to Thurrock’s young people.

 

Councillor S Little thanked the Cabinet Member for his report and welcomed the idea of grammar schools in the borough.

 

Councillor Coxshall commented that he had concern if a postcode lottery was used as not all children would be offered the same education. He used the Harris Academy as an example.  Councillor Halden stated that the use of a postcode lottery would enable children whose parents might not be able to afford, to send their child to a grammar school would also get the opportunity to the same education.

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Health mentioned that schools were under pressure. He continued that St Clere’s and the Ockendon Academy were good schools and could accept a greater number of children.

 

Both Councillors MacPherson and Tolson declared that they had children attending St Clere’s Academy and the Harris Academy.

 

The Leader also declared that his partner volunteered at St Clere’s Academy. He further thanked Councillor Halden for his report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That a provisional School Capital Programme budget of £7 million as set out in this report be approved.

 

2.    That authority subject to the Council’s procurement rules delegate to the Director of Children’s Services, in consultation with the relevant Portfolio Holder and Head of Legal, to commence, negotiate and award any contracts/agreements or documents incidental to the School Capital Programme within the budget as set out in this report.

 

3.    Cabinet note the work of the lobby unit and endorse the direction of travel.

 

Reason for Decision - as stated in the report

This decision is subject to call-in

70.

2016/17 Capital Monitoring Report – Quarter 2 (Decision 01104392) pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Legal introduced the report to Cabinet highlighting the following points:

 

·         Cabinet last considered the 2016/17 Capital Programme at its meeting on 7 September 2016;

·         Since the last reported position, additional funding had been added to the programme and budgets had been profiled to realign them with expected spend;

·         The report reflected the changes and set out the latest forecasted outturn position.

 

Councillor Hebb explained that Capital schemes and resources were identified in two specific categories Mainstream schemes and Specific schemes. 

 

He continued to advise Members the forecast underspend was principally due to slippage/budget re-profiling on current schemes this was currently £16.894 million.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Legal Services mentioned that the Council was 2.9 per cent off of its target for spend at six months.

 

The Leader of Council commented that Gloriana was a private organisation and Thurrock Council was a shareholder. He further commented that Council was investing in new housing stocks not just fixing existing homes. 

 

RESOLVED That Cabinet:

 

1.    Note the General Fund capital programme was projected to have available resources of £16.902 million as at 31 March 2017, with this funding carried forward to 2017/18 to fund schemes currently in progress or under development.

2.    Note the Housing Revenue Account capital programme was currently forecasting an overspend of £0.502 million, but work was being undertaken to eliminate this by the 31st March 2017.

 

Reason for Decision - as stated in the report

This decision is subject to call-in

71.

A13 Widening - Award of Detail Design and Construction Contracts (two contracts) (Decision 01104393) pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Minutes:

Councillor Brian Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport presented the report and notified Members that the widening of the A13 from two lanes to three in each direction from the A128 at the Orsett Cock to the A1014 of the Manorway was necessary to improve current flow.

 

He continued by stating as a part of the July 2014 Growth Deal, the Government provided a £5 million allocation for the development of the scheme, including an additional further £75 million in the scheme programme for delivery, subject to final business case approval.

 

The Cabinet Member mentioned that working alongside the Director of Environment and Place and the Portfolio Holder for Environment, he hoped works would be completed in the Autumn 2019.

 

Councillor Coxshall commented that this was another £80 million given to the Council in the way of grants in addition to funding for Growth, Schools and improving Junction 30.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet delegated authority to the Corporate Director of Environment and Place in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, subject to the Council’s procurement rules and terms and conditions being approved by the Section 151 Officer and the Monitoring Officer to:

 

·         Enter into an agreement with the Department for Transport (DfT) with respect to funding provided by the DfT for the A13 Widening scheme.

·         Award contracts for the detail design and the construction for the A13 Widening.

·         To award any further contract(s) for the provision of works and services to progress the A13 Widening scheme.

·         To acquire or accept dedication of any land required for the A13 Widening.

 

Reason for Decision - as stated in the report

This decision is not subject to call-in (Chapter 4, Part 3, paragraph 10.14 (d)).

72.

Medium Term Financial Plan - Quarter 2 (Decision 01104394) pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Legal Services delivered the report outlining the update on the forecast 2016/17 outturn position as at the end of September 2016.

 

He continued by stating current projections indicated an over spend of £0.240 million. Members were informed to achieve this position was dependent on in-year mitigating action being identified to be within budget by the end of the year.

 

Councillor Hebb informed Cabinet the Housing Revenue Account budget, agreed by Cabinet in February 2016, was forecasting an over spend of £0.491 million for 2016/17.  He continued to advise that Officers were reviewing proposals.

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Health thanked the Portfolio Holders for Finance & Legal Services, Environment and Transport & Highways for Clean it, Cut it, Fill it. They had driven change and kept on top of the budget.

 

Councillor Hebb explained that the scheme had not cost a fortune and was best for residents. He continued by thanking the Director of Environment and Place and his team.

 

Councillor S Little stated that when she took responsibility for her Portfolio there was already a £5 million over spend, she had since reduced that to £4.1 million.

 

She continued by explaining Children Services had paid for iMPOWER to look at the service and see where improvements could be made. Since October 2016 changes such as lower case loads for Social Workers and seeking other ways to help children other than to admit them into care.

 

The Leader commented that the Clean it, Cut it, Fill it scheme had been a success and Officers were going above and beyond to ensure that the streets were kept clean and this was being recognised by residents.

 

RESOLVED That Cabinet:

 

1.    Noted the forecast outturn position for 2016/17 and the mitigation required in order to manage existing pressures; and

 

2.    Agreed the funding of £0.190 million to extend the Clean it, Cut it, Fill it initiative to 31st March 2017.

 

Reason for Decision - as stated in the report

This decision is subject to call-in

73.

Treasury Management 2016/17 Mid Year Report (Decision 01104395) pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Hebb addressed Cabinet Members highlighting the following:

 

·         The report confirmed that the Council was within the prudential indicators as agreed by Council in February 2016 and continued to contribute, through both reduced costs and increased income, towards the council’s objective of financial sustainability;

·         As of the end of September 2016 the Council had invested £130.5 million. These included overnight investments, other investments and fund managers; and

·         The Council had invested in a further long term opportunity through a loan to a solar energy investment company.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Legal Services brought Members attention to the finance implications which highlighted in 2016/17 the overall impact to the General Fund was £3.097million which was a favourable position of £0.894million.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet noted the results of Treasury Management activities undertaken in the first half of 2016/17.

 

Reason for Decision - as stated in the report

This decision is subject to call-in

74.

Annual Report of The Director of Public Health 2016 (Decision 01104396) pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Education and Health started by praising the work of the Director of Public Health and his team for all of the hard work they have carried out.

 

He continued by informing Cabinet that the data produced and collected can be used to look at hospital admittance, to see if primary care given could have or should have been improved. The data could also be used to see if hospital admittance by ambulance was for genuine reasons or as a taxi service for an appointment.

 

Councillor Halden mentioned that working alongside the local Sustainability Transformation Plan (STP) allowed for transforming the Health Service and the Cabinet Member advised he was working with his counterparts at Southend Borough Council and Essex County Council.

 

It was mentioned by the Leader that it was important to analyse data, so to ensure that past mistakes were not repeated.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Members noted and support the contents and recommendations made in the report and support its publication.

 

2.    That Members support political leadership across the local Health and Social Care system and through our local Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) to deliver the report’s recommendations. These include:

 

·         Delivery of a new model of Primary Care to address under-doctoring and capacity issues.

·         Mechanisms to case find and diagnose patients with long term conditions.

·         Significant improvement of the management of long term conditions in Primary Care including the implementation a GP Long Term Conditions Management Scorecard.

·         Recommendations to reduce inappropriate A&E attendances and avoidable A&E admissions.

·         Recommendations to reduce delayed transferred of care from the NHS to Adult Social Care.

 

3.    That members agreed that the recommendations from the Annual Public Health Report be mixed within a “Principles Document’ to form a “Thurrock Ask” from NHS England.

 

4.     That members support the proposed re-procurement of a new Integrated Healthy Lifestyles Service with a stronger focus on young people’s health in order to break generational health inequalities.

 

5.     That the Health and Wellbeing Board acts as the Primary Delivery Arm for implementing the recommendations within this report, and the objectives within the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

 

Reason for Decision - as stated in the report

This decision is subject to call-in

75.

Environmental Enforcement (Decision 01104397) pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Pauline Tolson, Portfolio Holder for Environment,  delivered the report to Members informing them the Environmental Enforcement Team was a small team consisting of just two Officers and that a private enforcement company (Kingdom) was now operating in the Borough.

 

She continued by notifying Members that fines for littering were being issued around the borough. At present fines being issued to 18 year olds plus, however should it transpire that more under 18 year olds were littering Officers would relook at the fines issued.

 

Members were advised that the Council was charging for clearing fly tipping on private land. The Portfolio Holder made it clear that the Council does not have responsibility for clearing alleyways.

 

Councillor S Little thanked the Portfolio Holder for Environment for her report and commented that she had received 2 new bins for dog fouling for her ward.

 

Councillor Halden commented that it was reported on social media within the first day of Kingdom working in the Borough that 64 fines were issued. The Portfolio Holder for Environment confirmed this was the case with 15/17 being issued within the first hour.

 

The Leader mentioned that it was an administration promise which was being delivered by Members and Officers.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet:

 

1.    Noted the progress made on improving environmental enforcement work since July 2016.

 

2.    Agreed to the development of an environmental enforcement strategy based on the proposals outlined in this report, in paragraphs 3.6 – 3.9.

 

Reason for Decision - as stated in the report

This decision is subject to call-in

76.

Tilbury Community Led Local Development (Decision 01104398) pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration presented the report to Members and in doing so, highlighted the following:

 

·         Community Led Local Development (CLLD) focused on the areas with high levels of deprivation and the two Tilbury wards. Tilbury St Chads, Tilbury Riverside & Thurrock Park had been identified as having amongst the highest levels of deprivation in the borough; and

·         At the same time providing a contiguous area that included significant and emerging employment opportunities through the expansion of Tilbury Port.

 

Councillor Coxshall commented that the 5 strategic actions of the strategy were:

 

·         Supporting local people to access local jobs.

·         Tackling the barriers facing people furthest from the labour market.

·         Stimulating local businesses, SME’s, micro-enterprises and social enterprises.

·         Improving local infrastructure for residents and businesses.

·         Encouraging local civic action, pride and volunteering as routes into work.

 

The Leader commented that volunteering was not an easy option however it could assist with gaining employment.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Cabinet noted the priorities and strategic actions identified within the CLLD strategy; and

 

2.    Given in principle approval that the Council takes on the role of the Accountable Body in the full applications to the EU funding streams. 

 

Reason for Decision - as stated in the report

This decision is subject to call-in